New York Online Sports Betting Has A Pulse

Posted on March 18, 2019

Lawmakers are not backing away from pressing Gov. Andrew Cuomo to authorize online and mobile sports betting in New York.

According to Legal Sports Report, Senate lawmakers have included mobile sports betting language in a new draft proposal they intend to send Cuomo.

Diving into the NY draft

Top lawmakers Senator Joseph Addabbo and Assemblymen Gary Pretlow are leading the crusade and have each filed standalone proposals this year.

The new draft courtesy of the Senate borrows language from the Addabbo/Pretlow bill which allows third parties to offer online sports betting as an “agent” of any licensed NY casino.

Regulators have been hard at work developing land-based regulations to govern sports betting at the states four commercial NY casinos.

It will come as no surprise if stakeholders such as FanDuel, DraftKings, and MGM Resorts back the new Senate proposal.

MGM spent $850 million to purchase Empire City Casino and Yonkers Raceway hoping the state would expand sports betting to include a mobile/online component.

New York sports betting fees, taxes, and integrity

It appears New York sports betting licenses would cost $15 million each with a tax rate of 8.5 percent on gross gaming revenue.

Additionally, customers looking to bet on in-state college teams will be out of luck. Provisions in the bill would prevent operators from taking bets on in-state college teams and events.

The draft also includes the infamous “integrity fee.” Professional sports leagues would receive 0.20 percent of the total betting handle. Should this proposal become law, New York would be the first state to implement such a fee.

To date, no state with legal, regulated sports betting has included an integrity fee.

During the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference last week, Sharon Otterman, CMO of William Hill US said history hasn’t proven that manipulation of professional sports games is a cause for concern.

“I think there are enough commercially viable options instead of getting a sum tax (integrity fee) that is going to prevent something that hasn’t proven to be a problem,” Otterman said.

Road to implementation

A significant roadblock preventing mobile wagering from entering New York is the state constitution.

New York prohibits any expansion of gambling without an amendment. The process is especially tricky because it requires approval from two consecutive legislatures before a vote from residents.

However, a small faction of lawmakers–Addabbo and Pretlow included–believe a referendum is not needed.

Sports betting in other jurisdictions has shown how important a mobile/online component is, to grow the market. In January, 80 percent of all wagers placed in New Jersey were via online and mobile platforms.

Cuomo’s administration is looking for ways to close the massive $2.3 billion budget hole for the upcoming fiscal year. Although mobile wagering is not a silver bullet, it could help stop some of the bleeding.

The NY budget must be in place by April 1.

Nicholaus Garcia Avatar
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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick comes from West Texas where he graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in psychology. After a five-year stint in Chicago, where he wrote about local politics and graduated with a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia College Chicago, he moved to Washington, D.C. to write about issues related to gambling policy, sports betting and responsible gaming.

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